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Two of the most celebrated “Green” cars to come out in the past couple years have worn BMW’s propeller-inspired badge. By the looks of things though the i3 and i8 are just the beginning of the German marque’s electric love affair.
According to an official release from BMW, the auto manufacturer is planning to roll out plug-in hybrid versions of all its core models, starting with the 3 Series.
BMW will unveil the new version of the 3 Series later this week, alongside a range of hybrid vehicle concepts incorporating technology already used in BMW i models.
So why go for plug-in hybrids rather than ordinary ones? Well, as is the case with an ordinary hybrid, plug-ins allow you to make shorter-distance urban trips or commutes on electric power only. The difference comes in on longer journeys, where the vehicle will usually operate in â€œcombined modeâ€, with both systems working together.
The BMW 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype combines a four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor. The internal combustion engine is based on the TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder petrol engine. The electric motor and power electronics are directly based on the BMW eDrive technology already used in the BMW i3 and BMW i8 models. The prototypeâ€™s lithium-ion battery, including the battery management system and the direct cooling system, are likewise based on components within the BMW i range.
BMW also says that the technology is flexible enough that it can easily be fitted in different models and quickly deployed across the BMW range.
One major goal within the programme is to get high performance vehicles well below the 100 g/km CO2 output mark. The auto-maker does however say it wants to do so while continuing to push the limits of motoring performance.
Alongside the new focus on plug-in hybrids, BMW will keep working on short-range all-electric models like the i3 and the eventual release of a Hydrogen fuel-cell range.